For the newbies I thought I'd post a thread about character development. While some of it does come with age, one doesn't have to be a full-fledged adult to understand what to put in a character. The thing to remember is what motivates people? What motivates your character and how well do you now his/her life's story? With that said, let me show the background of Kate Almir, the main character of my books I write. While I've known her name for years, it's taken a while to create a full fledged background to fully flesh out the character. Kate Almir was born in the year 3023 to parents who abandoned her a a orphanage on the planet Selkirk in 3026, when she was 3. Three years later, with the orphanage desperately short on cash and needing money to survive she, amongst others, were sold to the Game Master Ferini from the planet Necko. From that point until she 13 in the year 3033, she was trained in swordsmanship and martial arts training to participate in the blood sport "games" held on Necko for gamblers and entertainment. In the year 3039, when 19, she and four of her team mates attempted an escape from Necko since a Interstellar Alliance Courier ship named Avalon was on planet while a Ambassador gambled on the games. After going through many traps and obstacles, the only ones who made it to the ship were Kate and Jennifer Loving. Kate unfortunately, was injured by a plasma grenade which destroyed her eyes, both legs and both arms. After being spirited away to the Fleet spacestation BEOWULF, she was rebuilt using cutting edge experimental cybernetic bionics. Once her therapy was finished, she was sent through basic training and placed in Fleet Intelligence. During the year 3040, a conspiracy to overthrow the government and replace it with a imperial/national socialistic government is hatched. using loyal troops to the conspirators, 'terrorists' capture the President at his retreat. Intelligence sends her in and she rescues the president, making herself a marked woman. Due to rescuing the President, she is promoted by him from lieutenant to Captain. After being sent personally by the President to assassinate a arms dealer linked to the affair, she is reassigned from Intelligence. While serving as a CAG (Commander Air Group) she is shot down and hunted on a jungle world by troops loyal to the conspiracy. Prevously, she showed great heroism in saving her Task Force from destructin by breaking a hole in the trap with her own fighter. Having been demoted to Commander for the position, she earns a second medal of honor and is transferred to be the XO of a battle cruiser, the Hood. After being attacked without warning by a alien vessel, while she was off duty, she assumed command of the ship after the captain and entire bridge crew are killed. Destroying the intruder, and getting the ship home, she is promoted back to Captain and given command of the Heavy Cruiser Roanoke. Enough of her career b/c it will give away too much plot of the first book and some of the second and third. Onto personal. Kate is a principled woman who believes in freedom above all things. She is a rape victim, having been repeatedly raped by Ferini while under his ownership on Necko. The results of this are manifest in the nightmares she suffers from nightly, and her propensity to drink after wards. She will never admit it, but her risk taking tendencies, and sarcastic mouth are death wish behaviors coming from the rapes she has suffered. However, with that said, she is also loyal to those that matter to her. Her crews and her friends mean more to her then anything else in life, and she never asks others to do something that is difficult, she'll do it herself if she can. kate is also a killer, a unadulterated, trained killer who has been trained on martial arts, swords, sniper training, Top Gun flight training along with ship battle tactics. While she doesn't like to kill, and it isn't something she enjoys to do anymore, she will if she has to, and she can live with herself for doing it. her attitude is, except for one battle in the first book, that you have got to do what you've got to do. She also has a intense impatience for BS and people who are dishonest. She has a knack for being able to track conspiracies to their source-when allowed to. However, for all her violent tendencies, Kate doesn't like to face her past. When forced to, her discomfort tends to make her unable to speak and she will tend to run from it.